18 year-old Molly Thompson-Smith has added to her international medal haul by claiming Bronze at the recent IFSC European Youth Bouldering Championships in Langenfeld, Austria - her first podium in an international bouldering event. Predominantly a lead climber, this was Molly's fourth bouldering event on the international circuit.
Having recently returned from a fortnight in Magic Wood (UKC News Report) Molly was unsure how her training on rock would translate to the competition. She told UKC:
'I felt a little bit out of my comfort zone with lead being my main discipline. After spending two weeks in Magic Wood, I was unsure as to how I would perform on comp style boulders especially in a high pressure situation - a contrast from the chilled out vibes in Magic! But as soon as I got to the competition venue I felt in control; largely due to the togetherness, organisation and emphasis of support from the junior team.'
Molly qualified in 4th place for the final, topping six out of the eight problems in the qualifying round. Having made one final previously in Warsaw, Poland in July - finishing in 7th place - Molly had all to play for on the next set of problems. She commented:
'Making the final was amazing, and I felt lucky to be there so finals was just a big fun training session really. When I realised I could be on the podium I turned on my competition head and really tried to give everything I could on all of the boulders.'
Photo: Moritz Liebhaber
Summing up her podium finish, Molly told us:
'Being able to achieve a podium position has by far been the highlight of my year, and after a disappointing British Bouldering Championships result has given me the confidence and motivation I need to up my training for the upcoming Lead World Cup this month and the World Youth Championships in November.'
Fellow GB Team member and Scottish climber William Bosi also qualified for the finals, finishing in a respectable 5th place.
Following the announcement of sport climbing entering the Tokyo 2020 Olympics last week (UKC News Report), how do Molly and other fellow GB team members feel about the news?
'The news has created a buzz amongst the team members, giving us all something to aim for in the future. Although the proposed format sounds challenging, I'm sure many athletes will be willing to adapt. This is a great opportunity for climbing, and I'm excited to see the sport progress.'